Wednesday, December 24, 2008
· Christmas is all about gifts
o It really is
§ Oh sure, we teach our kids that Christmas is about something deeper and more meaningful than gifts
· Oh sure, we say that it is about more than gifts and it is more about getting together with family and friends and spending quality time together
o And no doubt this is true
§ But let us not kid ourselves
· Christmas is about gifts
· We spend hours shopping for gifts and often looking for that perfect gift for that special someone
o We go tooth and nail into the Wal-Mart to get that special doll or video game or iPod or whatnot for our kids
§ Ebay and online shopping has brought an entirely new dimension of craziness to the Seasonal shopping
· And once we have completed and conquered our Christmas shopping we bring our trophies home we wrap them and decorate them and place them under the tree
o Then we look at them, we shake them, we weigh them, we ponder them
§ Christmas is about gifts
· A gift is something that is given with no strings attached
o If it is given because of what someone has done it is not a gift but a reward or payment
§ If it is given in hopes of motivating someone to do something then it is not a gift but a bribe
· A gift is given because the giver wants the receiver to have it – that’s it.
· How many of the gifts that sit under your tree this evening would fall into that category?
o Or, to put it another way, how many of those gifts under the tree that have your name on them would you say you truly deserve?
§ That you could say honestly that you deserve those gifts because you have fulfilled perfectly what you should have as a husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, employee, employer, neighbour, citizen, Christian?
· Have you measured up to perfection in 2008?
o Have you even come close?
§ No. You have not. In fact you have fallen short.
· I don’t know the details. I don’t need to. You know it is true. I know it is true. Scripture in fact declares clearly
o Romans 3:23 – all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
§ We all have fallen short. We all have not measured up.
· And let’s not kid ourselves. We aren’t fooling anyone.
o Those around us see our shortcomings.
§ Those around us know we have not lived up to our responsibilities and callings as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, employees and employers, neighbours, citizens, and Christians
· We may try and keep up appearances, and for the most part we do pretty well at it
o But those who are closest to us, they know
§ And you know.
· Scripture is true. We know it in our hearts even if we have never put words to it.
o Romans 3:23 – all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
· That’s why I think we all have an understanding of grace even if we have never given it any real thought
o We know we are not perfect. We know that others around us are not perfect. We may not call it sin… but we know what I am talking about.
§ And yet how many of you expect to find a lump of coal in your stocking tomorrow morning?
· How many of you decided that someone was rather too naughty and gave them a lump of coal?
o I doubt very much anyone here will receive a lump of coal or has given someone else one
§ But who here can honestly say they don’t deserve one?
· Christmas is about gifts.
o Our gift giving, and even our grace to others and the grace we receive from others, is a picture of a greater gift
§ The gift we have been singing about and hearing about in the Scripture readings today
· The gift that was announced to the Shepherds so long ago
o And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
§ On that first Christmas God gave the most glorious and most undeserved gift to the world
· His Son Jesus
· 2000 years ago Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary
o Jesus, truly man, truly God, at the same time
§ God became man, took on flesh and blood, in the mystery of the Incarnation
· Of this event Christians have not stopped singing and pondering, marvelling and rejoicing
o You all know the carols, even, if you were like me and didn’t grow up in the Church, you didn’t know what they meant - but you know them
§ They are about Jesus
· They are about this glorious event that God became man
o This miraculous birth, this impossible thing that God has made possible because with God all things are possible
§ that God has become man - Christmas is about gifts
· All the gifts under your tree – they are to point you to Jesus
o All the Christmas gifts are to remind us of the greatest gift – Jesus
§ No, just as the rest of the gifts under the tree, we don’t deserve the gift of God’s Son
· We are sinners, we have fallen short
o However, God so loved the world, He so loved you, that He sent to you this gift, wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger
§ The grace we might show to one another stems from this grace, the grace of God, sending us the gift of Jesus
· That He might take on flesh and live a perfect life in our place, that in that flesh He would suffer for our sins on the cross, and in that flesh rise again that first Easter and defeat death
o Jesus, the true Christmas gift, has in the flesh defeated sin, death, and the devil
§ He has done it for you
§ He gives it to you. As a free gift.
§ You receive it by grace through faith.
· I don’t know how this Christmas Season finds you.
o Perhaps you are surrounded with friends and family and joy
§ Perhaps you look at an empty chair and weep this Christmas
· Perhaps you look forward to 2009 with some fear and trepidation not knowing what it brings to you and yours
o Perhaps you walk with a great burden of guilt upon your shoulders for the sins of the past
§ Perhaps you feel shame and sorrow not knowing where you fit in or where you will be accepted
· Perhaps even being in this building this evening, the House of God, makes you feel uncomfortable, all these church people, and so on
o But hear this, and hear it well,
§ “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
· Jesus, His love, forgiveness, mercy and grace
o He is truly the only free gift you will ever receive
§ He comes to you and for you each and every time we gather as His people for Services
· Don’t believe the nonsense that you can worship Him at home, or on the golf course, or on the lake while fishing
o That’s not true and you know it – don’t kid yourself
§ He is not there for you in the same way He has promised to come to you in His Church wrapped in His Words of forgiveness, baptismal water, and in Holy Communion under the bread and wine
· This gift of Jesus is for you, it is for all
o No, if you go to Bethlehem today you will not find Him in the manger for you
§ But He comes to you now in the manger of His Word and Sacraments
· Wrapped not in swaddling cloths, but in Words, in water, in bread and wine, in His Church
o He is here for you, that is His promise
§ This gift of God, THE Christmas gift, Jesus, is for you
· Receive Him
o Marvel at Him
§ Rejoice in His grace and forgiveness
§ For it is because of Him, this wonderful Christmas gift Jesus, that we can sing Joy to the World!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Fantasy Football Season is over for another year. This year I migrated over to Yahoo! Fantasy Sports for the first time after several years at The Sporting News. I had three teams this year each with slightly different rules.
In the first league I finished the regular season in first place but in the playoffs lost and finished in 3rd.
In the second league I finished the regular season in 7th place but had a good playoffs and ended up in 5th place.
In the third league I finished the regular season in first place and finished THE LEAGUE CHAMPION!!!!!
In all three leagues I was the only Canadian. I had to represent!
I have three Fantasy Hockey teams. So far I am in 1st, 3rd, and 7th.
What I can't understand is why the Canadian Football League has not started up a Fantasy Football league?
You are standing on the deck with boots and parka on while flipping burgers in -29 degree weather and you think to yourself -- Hmmmmm, it really is not that bad when you are out of the wind.
Friday, December 19, 2008
"Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool."
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Hark, the herald’s voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Calling sinners to repentance,
Since the Kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise to meet Him
And the hills bow down to greet Him.
I just love the poetry in this hymn and especially in this verse.
Let the valleys rise to meet Him
And the hills bow down to greet Him
What a beautiful picture in words! Nothing impeding our Lord's coming. When our Lord returns all impediments will be removed.
What about now? The impediment we all have is a sinful heart - which leads to lack of faith and trust. However, our Lord comes - He comes to us through His Word and Sacraments. Even now, the Holy Spirit works to raise the valleys and bow the hills of your heart. Even now the Lord comes to you. He speaks, "Comfort, Comfort!"
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
I think it is important to observe Advent and not Christmas until it is Christmas. I think it is healthy so that Christians would celebrate Christmas during the twelve Days of Christmas and focus on that period of time rather than the period of time October - December 25. Though, I am not quite as concerned about it as I once was. During Divine Service I observe it rather strictly but outside of the Divine Service I am not too worried.
The Season of Advent has a penitential aspect. Quite different than the festive atmosphere that often accompanies much of December with office parties, school parties, etc. the Church observes a period of repentance and reflection. Preparing for our Lord's return is a theme that runs throughout all of Advent. How does one prepare for His return? Our Lord prepares us through bringing us to repentance. What a contrast to much of what happens in December.
Advent is a season of anticipation. It is a longing for our Lord Jesus. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
In going through the process I learned much. Below are some observations:
1. Having another parish call you to serve as their pastor is a most humbling experience. It makes you think - "Really? Me?"
2. It is encouraging to speak to other people in other parishes who love their parish and their Lord.
3. It is very healthy to face the prospect of moving on and consider the reasons to stay.
4. Facing a potential change is rejuvenating.
5. It is hard to tell a congregation you decline the call.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Also, check out the interview with our new Synodical president!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I didn't order the carrying case cover for TDP. Did any of you? Is it helpful?
After familiarzing myself with it and also with the small group who joins me for Matins each morning - I am thinking of having the parish buy 3-4 copies to have on hand for such Services. However, I also want to encourage the members of our parish to purchase their own for their own daily use at home.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Still waiting up in Canada for my TDP.
Next year I order the One Year Series.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Truth is I have been using the electronic edition I was given for review for over a month each morning for Matins. There is a small group (1-2) that join me most mornings for Matins and I have been using the readings and the prayer for each day. I can't wait to get my copy so I can incorporate the daily reading from the Writing and the commemorations. What I am thinking is that once I get my copy and am able to show people it I will see about getting a bulk order. I also want to order 4-5 for the parish to have around for when people to join me for Matins they can follow along if they don't have their own.
Waiting anxiously for my TDP way up in Canada....
It seems to me that the use of the term "spiritual life" is not helpful. We will talk about our daily life and also our "spiritual" life. This is not helpful. It introduces a dangerous dichotomy. As a Christian what part of your life is not spiritual? How do you divorce your "daily life" from your "spiritual life?"
There is no such thing as our "spiritual life" apart from our "daily life." There is life. Your life. Do you live it with the knowledge of God? Do you live it knowing that you are a baptized child of God? Do you live it knowing that Jesus has risen?
Monday, October 27, 2008
The hymns we sang were great (By Grace I'm Saved, Salvation Unto Us Has Come, A Mighty Fortress). The sermon was a very good sermon which clearly expressed the Gospel and delivered well by Pastor Daryl Solie. I rejoiced in the Good News of the Gospel. I gave thanks to God for His mercy and forgiveness freely given to me for the sake of Christ. But I couldn't shake this feeling - this feeling of sadness. Why? This is not the way it should be.
The Church of Christ is divided. To a certain degree the Reformation represents a failure. It was not the intention to create a new church body. Yet it did. There was no choice of course - the Gospel needed to be given free reign and the church body of the day would not allow it. Nonetheless, it was not the intention of the Reformers and it is a sad reality to this day. It makes me wonder - is the Lutheran Church of today (and I mean those that are authentically Lutheran) an unfortunate necessity? While we ought to rejoice in the Gospel and the fact that we are able to believe, teach, and confess the pure Gospel - should we not also lament the fact that we must exist as a "Lutheran" church body?
I am in no way advocating a return to "Mother Church." Such thinking is folly for there is no such Church. The Church of Rome still teaches the same heresy it did in Luther's day. It must not be tolerated in the Christian Church. The reality is the Lutheran Church is catholic and orthodox. Any Lutheran must believe this. However, how is it that on such a day of joy and celebration brought about by the freedom to believe, teach, and confess the true Gospel - this sadness remains?
Monday, October 20, 2008
Nothing has here been said or related for the purpose of injuring anybody. 5 Only those things have been recounted which it seemed necessary to say in order that it may be understood that nothing has been received among us, in doctrine or in ceremonies, that is contrary to Scripture or to the church catholic. For it is manifest that we have guarded diligently against the introduction into our churches of any new and ungodly doctrines.
There are many who when they think of the Lutheran church as a whole see it as a “new” church. They see it as a creation of Martin Luther and his followers. They believe that what the Lutherans believed, taught, and confessed was “new” or “innovative.” Many believe that the Lutheran doctrine introduced something unknown to the Church. This conception of the Lutheran church is entirely mistaken.
I have had conversations where laypeople and pastors in the Lutheran church exhibit this kind of thinking. I have had laypeople and pastors express this sentiment: “Well Martin Luther tried something new so we can too!” Or, “Luther changed everything – so can we!” This line of thinking is quite contrary to the thinking of Luther and the Reformers. This line of thinking is contrary to the Lutheran Church and indeed to the catholic Church as a whole. This kind of thinking is dangerous and is ultimately arrogant and prideful.
As Charles Porterfield Krauth termed it – the Lutheran Reformation was a “Conservative Reformation.” As he writes: “It is vastly more important, then, to know what the Reformation retained than what it overthrew; for the overthrow of error, though often an indispensable prerequisite to the establishment of the truth, is not truth itself; it may clear the foundation, simply to substitute one error for another, perhaps a greater for a less”
When one reads the Lutheran Confessions it is made clear that the Confessors’ intention was not to formulate new doctrines but to keep what had always been taught. It was not so much an attempt to introduce something new but a plea to return to something old! The Confessions, and perhaps no more clearly than in the Augsburg Confession and the Apology, are presenting the case that what is being taught therein is simply in line with what the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church has always taught. The Confessions are simply pointing out where the Roman church of the day had strayed from those teachings and the Confessors’ desire was to call the Church back to its historic teachings.
As one reads through the Confessions, and again most apparently the Augsburg Confession and its Apology, one is struck by the constant references to the Church Fathers. St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom prove to be the two most frequently quoted among the Fathers. The Catalogue of Testimonies, often overlooked or entirely forgotten, was appended to the early editions of the Book of Concord “to show that the Lutheran teaching about the two natures of Christ is thoroughly in line with the historic and universal faith of the Christian Church.” The Catalogue is itself a collection of both Holy Scripture and quotations from the Church Fathers supporting various teaching touching upon the nature of Christ. This gives insight into the way the Reformers both viewed their theological positions and also into their method of theology itself.
It seems to me that many of our people as well as many of our clergy, indeed we ourselves, have drifted from “doing” theology in the way of the Reformers. We have uncritically adopted a North American protestant approach to “doing” theology rather than the method of the “Conservative Reformation.” We trust ourselves and our individualistic notions above those who have gone before us. We are intellectually arrogant rather than humble. We judge those who have gone before us as ignorant and only trust in what is “new” and “relevant.” We do not hesitate to discard a long held teaching of the Church if it does not meet our “rational” expectations.
This was not the way of the Reformers. This is not the way of the Church. We might ask ourselves in our day, “What do we know now that makes us better students of the Bible than St. Augustine, Ignatius, Cyril, Ambrose, and others?” We must not isolate ourselves from those who have gone before us in the Faith. We must listen to them so that we do not become blinded by our own Age. We must ask, before we choose to discard a teaching of the Ancient Church, “Why?”
To be sure, the Church Fathers can be held in too high esteem and begin serving almost as a “norming norm.” This is dangerous and is certainly not the way of the Reformers. Chrysostom himself wrote:
Let us not therefore carry about the notions of the many, but examine into the facts. For how is it not absurd that in respect to money, indeed, we do not trust to others, but refer this to figures and calculation; but in calculating upon facts we are lightly drawn aside by the notions of others; and that too, though we possess an exact balance, and square and rules for all things, the declaration of the divine laws? Wherefore I exhort and entreat you all, disregard what this man and that man thinks about these things, and inquire from the Scriptures all these things.
The Confessions also state:
But our papists make use of such human opinions to make men believe their shameful, blasphemous, accursed traffic in Masses which are offered for souls in purgatory, etc. They can never demonstrate these things from Augustine. Only when they have abolished their traffic in purgatorial Masses (which St. Augustine never dreamed of) shall we be ready to discuss with them whether statements of St. Augustine are to be accepted when they are without the support of the Scriptures and whether the dead are to be commemorated in the sacrament. It will not do to make articles of faith out of the holy Fathers’ words or works. Otherwise what they ate, how they dressed, and what kind of houses they lived in would have to become articles of faith — as has happened in the case of relics. This means that the Word of God shall establish articles of faith and no one else, not even an angel.
So, it seems, we need to strike a “middle road.” We, in our day, must reacquaint ourselves with our Confessions and the Church Fathers upon which much of the Confessions are based. We must be willing to listen to the Fathers and allow their influence in our theology today. We must critically examine our presently held ideas and positions and if they differ from that of the Church Fathers we must wrestle with why we differ. What is it we know now that the Fathers did not? Have we gained some exegetical insight or have we changed our position because of our present context? Is it a valid change? We must resist the modern and present day arrogance among us that assumes we have greater insight than those who have gone before us. However, we must not view the Fathers as an inerrant source. We must also use our critical skills when reading them. We must always hold to the Word alone as our “norming norm.” It is only the Word of God that is above and beyond the present Age.
Tappert, T. G. (2000, c1959). The Augsburg confession : Translated from the Latin (The Confession of Faith: 2, XXI, 4). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
Tappert, T. G. (2000, c1959). The Augsburg confession : Translated from the Latin (The Confession of Faith: 3, VIII, 4-5). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
 Charles Porterfirld Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology (repr. St. Louis: CPH, 2007), 202.
 Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, p.651.
 St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Second Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinithians, Homily XIII,
(Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers First Series), Volume 12, p. 346.
 Tappert, T. G. (2000, c1959). The book of concord : The confessions of the evangelical Lutheran church (The Smalcald Articles: 2, II, 13-15). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Today the NHL season begins (in full). Also, we are in the middle of the MLB playoffs. And the CFL is in full swing as is the NFL.
This is glorious - and it is marvelous in my eyes.
Monday, October 6, 2008
From the outside life looks as if it is flowing along smoothly. People wake up, drink coffee, go to work, go golfing, read the paper, check out their stocks, watch SportsCentre, pick up the kids, cut the grass, do the dishes, and so on. It all seems rather simple, planned, expected. Every day will be this way.
The reality is that every day, everywhere, all the time there are major crises occurring to people all around you. Life altering events. Earth shaking. Announcements of disease. A marriage falling apart. Children getting into serious trouble. Injuries. Accidents. Miscarriage. Death. There are many people that are in the middle of a major crisis and they cannot understand how everybody else is living life as normal and their life is totally upside down. People all around you are dealing with seriously heavy stuff. Every time you hear an ambulance's or a police cruiser's or a fire engine's siren - we should be reminded of this.
Before I served in the parish I never truly realized that this was the case. In many ways I had floated through life without any major traumatic event. That illusion has been removed. I realize the fragility of so called - "normal." I have seen how a Dr's diagnosis, a car accident, a heart attack, a death - can suddenly change someone's "normal" forever.
Perhaps you have no idea of what I am talking about. You will. Unfortunately you too will have your "normal" changed forever in some way on some day.
That's life. There is much good. There is much bad. We like to hide ourselves from the bad and we try and ignore it and pretend it won't happen to us or our loved ones. It will. That's lilfe. If ignorance is bliss - that bliss will not last long.
Better to face the reality. Better to know what life is really like and not what we want it to be. Better to recognize that what is now will not always be. Better to get rid of a false sense of security. Better to not rely on "normal." Better to realize the truth and shed the illusion of a nice peaceful life. It does not exist this side of heaven. It is only a fantasy.
What then can we rely on? What can we do when "normal" is destroyed forever? What can we do when we look to the future and the uncertainty causes an overwhelming panic? What can we do with the pain we must endure?
Do you have an answer? You need one. This is not a hypothetical. This is not a "What would you do if...." This is - what will you do when. Do you have an answer?
As a pastor I learned very quickly I do not have all the answers. In many of the crisis situations I have been involved with there is no way I can make it better. I cannot say a few well spoken words and "fix it" and make everyone feel better. But I can be there with them. I can suffer with them. I often do not need to say anything. In many cases I should not say anything. Just be. Care. That is enough. What you say will not be remembered. But that you were there will be.
But that comes from not being surprised at life. That comes from knowing that this life is a mess. That comes from knowing that sin has destroyed any hope of living an easy life. That comes from knowing that while we must endure much - our Lord endured more. That comes from knowing that while it seems as if all hell has broken loose - our Lord has overcome it. That comes from the confidence that even though I cannot "fix it" our Lord already has. That comes from knowing that we do not walk through this valley alone.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
What five people - past or present - inspire your spiritual life??Hmmm...OK, we know that our Lord Himself has to be at the top of the list, so He is assumed. Your five simply follow Him. In Lutheran circles, we will also presume "Fr. Martin of Wittenberg" as well. :-)So the five would be additional people who (humanly speaking) have greatly impacted your life of faith and love on this earth.
So, for me (in no particular order):
1. The Rev. Dr. Gerald Krispin - Now the president of Concordia Universtity College of Alberta in Edmonton and formerly a professor there. One of the most influential of my teachers. It was through his teaching in class, hallway, and later his home, that I was confronted with the true Gospel and a proper understanding of the Divine Service. I have never been the same since.
2. C.S. Lewis - Obviously only known through his writings. I was first introduced to him as a college student in The Screwtape Letters and then I read his biography (which had some similarities to my own life). Mere Christianity also was influential. While some of Lewis' theological positions may be problematic - there is much good here.
3. St. Augustine - I read his Confessions back in college and then took an online course through Notre Dame three years ago. The unflinching look at the deepest darkest parts of his soul was very influential to me as I read it in college. As I read it for the online course I kept thinking "He is so Lutheran!" :-)
4. The Rev. Dr. Norman Nagel - Only known through his many writings, sermons, Issues, etc interviews, and his many students. The first article I read of Dr. Nagel's was in second year college - "Closed Communion - In the Way of the Gospel, In the Way of the Law." I have read everything I can get my hands on by him. His nack for creating words that express the Gospel - genious!
5. Hermann Sasse - Only known through his writings. His passion and devotion for Confessional integrity inspires me. I still have much to learn from the man.
Briefly, also - The Rev. Dr. Ed Kettner (one of my seminary professors) and The Rev. Dr. Arthur Carl Piepkorn - who made me consider the ramifications of the catholicity of the Lutheran church.
That was fun! Thanks Pastor Weedon!
I tag: Pr. Alex Klages (http://qaz1.bannerland.org/wordpress/); His wife Mrs. Kelly Klages (http://qaz1.bannerland.org/kelly/); Todd Guggenmos (http://theoconservative.blogspot.com/); and Father Hollywood (http://fatherhollywood.blogspot.com/). I can't wait to read their posts!
Monday, September 22, 2008
It's the drumbeat of the left. It is political, philosophical, theological, and social. It pervades every activity. It is post-structural, post-modern, post-everything in the parlance of the day. It is tolerant, diverse, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory, egalitarian, politically correct, multicultural, globalist, and collectivist. It insists that there are no rights and wrongs, no moral absolutes. It turns everything upside down in its looking glass world. It denies the correctness of all that produced what our culture revered before the deconstruction of the world in accordance with the tenets of cultural Marxism.
It denies God, human exceptionalism, and the soul. We are reduced to Darwinian animals floundering in an amoral sea of meaninglessness. It is a product of the nihilistic, existentialist philosophical movement, which went hand in hand with modern art, atonal music, scientific materialism and modern physics, and the generally discordant nature of the twentieth century.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
This may seem out there - but I am sure I am right. The underlying sound in "Storm Coming" sounds like Kim Wilde's 1980s tune "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Listen to the Kim Wilde song (enjoy the 80s flashback) especially nearer the end when the tempo picks up and then listen to the Gnarls Barkley tune (don't mind the video - just a Youtube offering). In "Storm Coming" at about 1:10 in - it kicks in most clearly but it is in the background throughout the song. I actually looked at the disc liner to see if they gave credit for sampling "You Keep Me Hangin' On" but there is nothing there. In "Storm Coming" the tempo is much faster - but I think it is there.
Do you hear it too?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I was driving home from Regina after a hospital call a couple weeks ago and the radio station played the new Metallica song The Day That Never Comes. Right away I thought there was something familiar about it - especially at the beginning of the song. I finally figured it out. The rif that begins at 1:16 in The Day That Never Comes is almost exactly the same as a
Martha and a Muffins song called Echo Beach. Check it out and tell me if I am right. I am.
See how productive I can be on vacation? Truth is I am always hearing other songs in new songs. Actually I have another one in a Gnarls Barkley song I'll show you in a while.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Sigh. from shipoffools.com:
Leaving things in the lap of the gods just got a whole lot easier – thanks to Nim Pot Centro De Textiles in Antigua, Guatemala. "Retailing at just under US $700 (£370), the chair's price probably reflects its pretensions to divinity," claims Irishman Matt Hamilton in his travelogue."Towards the back of the incense-enveloped shop" (where Matt and a fellow student Trish found this treasure on earth) "is the wood-carving section. It was to here Trish had brought me and where I now stood, transfixed by the awfulness of the store's most expensive chair."Surely not, Matt. Consider yourself honoured among men for being one of the first to behold a crouching Christ. The rest of us must now journey long to see that of which we have heard.
Friday, September 5, 2008
So here is my personal connection to this story.
Whatcott is a man I have never met. However, when the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal found him guilty I read the record of their finding on the web. Listed as evidence against Mr. Whatcott were his quotation of some Scripture passages, the use of the term "sodomite" and some other ways in which he expressed his disagreement and dislike of the homosexual lifestyle. I wrote the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal requesting some help in understanding the finding and in particular why the Scripture passages and the term "sodomite" was found as hateful. I asked, with particular interest since I preach publicly each week, if the word "sodomite" was now an illegal word in Saskatchewan. I also asked if certain Scripture passages are now "off limits." I asked several other questions. I was not disagreeing with the Tribunal's findings nor defending Mr. Whatcott. I simply asked for some help in understanding the ramifications of the Tribunal's finding.
I was told that the Tribunal is a "quasi-judicial body" and if I wanted an opinion I needed to seek legal counsel. So basically - if I, a resident of Saskatchewan, want to have the finding of the Tribunal explained to me - I need to get a lawyer. Not satisfied with this I wrote back to the Tribunal asking to whom they were answerable. The answer was the provincial Minister of Justice. I then wrote him and was told the same thing - get a lawyer.
Is this the way it should be? A Tribunal can make decisions that may impact the lives of the residents of Saskatchewan and they are not answerable to anyone and need not explain their finding to anyone. If I preach on Romans 1 - is it a hate crime...I am not sure......I do not have the resources for a lawyer! What if I use the term sodomite - not that I do - but am I free to do so - who knows....
These Tribunals are dangerous. It is time for the Canadian people to recognize this. It is time to demand accountability.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Not good. We need help.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Concordia Publishing House has produced a new resource called the Treasury of Daily Prayer and it will be made available in late October. The editor of the volume (Rev. Scot Kinnaman) set up a Facebook page for this resource and I joined. After a while I noticed that some others had been given pre-release PDF versions of the Treasury and were publishing their reviews on their blogs etc (e.g. Rev. Wil Weedon). I sent a message on the Treasury Facebook page (jokingly) that I would be more than happy to give a Canadian perspective and review. Well, Rev. Kinnaman took me up on my offer! I have reviewed a massive PDF file of the Treasury in its draft form. The review was to be rather short - it is below.
The Treasury of Daily Prayer has the potential to radically improve the daily prayer lives of any who make use of it. With helpful material that introduces the purpose and procedure of daily prayer the Treasury will prove to be a great resource to introduce the practice into the lives of many. I can see the Treasury serving as something like a "virus" infecting the Lutheran church and beyond with the result of spreading the practice of daily prayer far more broadly than it is practiced at the present time. The Treasury will have a unifying effect as many will be reading the same lections each day - something Hermann Sasse once wished for among the Lutheran clergy. This may lead to discussion groups forming around the daily lections as well as conferences and conventions that will include praying the Offices as part of the schedule.
Finally, one more important point regarding the Treasury. As many have found, the practice of daily prayer and of praying the daily Offices is a blessing, but also a challenge at times. The challenge lies mainly in our flesh. We often allow any excuse to interfere. Often we find it too burdensome to go through several resources. The Treasury does a fine job of providing all the resources in one volume. I have made use of the materials for the last week and it is very simple to use. The "old Adam" will have far less to complain about if one makes the Treasury a regular part of their daily prayer life. I recommend The Treasury of Daily Prayer highly and I look forward to seeing how this resource will positively impact both clergy and laity alike.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Today I ship my laptop away to HP for repairs. I am not pleased. First, I am not pleased that I have to ship it away after just a year for repairs. The battery no longer charges and the AC input is wonky (to use the technical term). The repairs are part of an extended warranty deal HP introduced - I assume because these problems on this model were wide spread. It is amazing how dependent we become upon the computers and how strange it is to use another. Where are my files? I hope I have that file on this computer, etc. It will be a fun two weeks!
And to the Mac users out there - I don't want to hear it.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
When I shower and brush my teeth and such each morning I listen to the radio. This morning there was a call in competition on the radio. The question was: "In what year did Canada win the most medals at the Summer Olympics." A fellow called in - I didn't catch his name or where he lives. He is asked the question again. He said only one word. His answer....
Great start to my day.
Monday, August 18, 2008
More information will follow but check out his site at http://redeemer-fortwayne.org/blog.php
Check out more information regarding the retreat at our website: http://lutheranpreachers.worthyofpraise.org/